ANC faces behind toilet tender scandal

A company with links to several high-ranking national ANC leaders was handpicked and awarded a tender in excess of half a billion rand to build toilets for a rural Eastern Cape municipality.

DDToilets
A company with links to several high-ranking national ANC leaders was handpicked and awarded a tender in excess of half a billion rand to build toilets for a rural Eastern Cape municipality.

Siyenza Group was awarded the tender worth R631-million to build about 66000 toilets in villages by the Amathole district municipality. It has until June to finish the project.

A three-week investigation by the Saturday Dispatch has found that proper procurement processes were not followed, which the municipality has admitted.

The company has already been paid more than R60-million “for work already done” – but a visit to some of the sites this week revealed very little work had been done on the ground.

The company is owned by Butterworth-born businessman Bongani Mpeluza and has strong links to a group of politically connected individuals including ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe’s wife Nolwandle Mantashe.

Others linked to the company include President Jacob Zuma’s son-in-law Lonwabo Sambudla; Mantashe’s son Buyambo Mantashe; and Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s son Boitumelo Itholeng.

The Dispatch understands that Nolwandle Mantashe’s company has been subcontracted by Siyenza Group to provide “health and safety” services.

VUYANI GAGA
VUYANI GAGA

Their son, Buyambo, who just finished his studies at Fort Hare University last year, now works for her company.

The key figure behind them is emerging as Johannesburg highflyer and socialite Vuyani Gaga, a man known for his love of finer things in life. Gaga counts among his acquaintances Kenny Kunene and Gayton Mackenzie.

The contract was given to Siyenza in October last year despite having already been awarded to four other companies two months earlier.

Sources close to the sanitation project, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Siyenza was imposed on the municipality and appears to have been appointed due to its political connections.

The deal has been the talk of the town in Black Economic Empowerment circles for months now after some of the directors splashed out millions on luxury cars.

In December they were driving around in luxury cars including a brand new Porche Cayene, Lamborghini and a Ferrari.

They hosted a number of parties in Nahoon, East London, and in other up-market venues in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

There are reports they also bought two houses – including a R7-million mansion in Nahoon. This however could not be independently verified.

“These guys (Siyenza) came out of nowhere and were introduced to four suppliers that were initially appointed for the project.

“The local municipality had (already been) divided into clusters and each supplier had its own cluster,” said a well-placed source.

“But when these guys arrived they changed that and also changed agreements on prices,” a source said.

Siyenza Group has its headquarters in Johannesburg and a satellite office in Berea, East London.

TOP RANGE: The luxury house, top, in East London on Nahoon River, which is said to be in the process of being bought by some of those involved in the contract Picture: MARK ANDREWS
TOP RANGE: The luxury house, top, in East London on Nahoon River, which is said to be in the process of being bought by some of those involved in the contract Picture: MARK ANDREWS

ADM municipal manager Chris Magwangqana admitted the Siyenza Group was awarded the tender without following regular supply chain management tender processes.

He also admitted that about R286-million of the money was a loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) as part of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG). He defended the municipality saying it needed to urgently appoint someone as the MIG had time-frames which needed to be met.

“Due to the limited time-frame set by DBSA and National Treasury another process of appointing – utilising section 32 of the SCM [supply chain management] regulation – was used.

As such the normal tender process was not followed,” Magwangqana said.

DBSA disputed this saying the bank did not give time-frames for projects it funded.

“The DBSA does not set time-frames or dictate implementation timelines to municipalities. ADM has been funded based on its future allocations,” DBSA spokeswoman Nonnie Letsholo said.

Siyenza’s Mpeluza also remained defiant this week claiming they had done nothing wrong. He said Siyenza Group had been approached to become the implementing agent for the project on behalf of ADM.

“We were approached by the ADM to assist them in this project and they told us that they had a section 32 rule which allowed them to procure services from a contractor, which is also providing similar services for another organ of state,” Mpeluza said.

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He also confirmed that both Sambudla and Itholeng were part of Siyenza Group. He also confirmed the group had sub-contracted health and safety issues to Nolwandle Mantashe’s company and that her son Buyambo was one of her employees.

Numerous attempts to contact Gaga, Sambudla, Nolwandle Mantashe and minister Zulu were not successful.

Questions sent to Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj went unanswered at the time of writing.

But Gwede Mantashe yesterday saw nothing wrong with his family members, and other politically-connected individuals working on the project.

He said allegations the tender had been awarded to Siyenza due to political connections were “malicious”.

“If my family members are employed in the project, what is a problem with that? My wife worked for Gold Fields, I never received an inquiry from a journalist.

She worked for PPC Cement, I never received any questions. But now she works for a small black company I get questions. I really do not understand the issue here.”

The Dispatch visited some of the sites this week and found very little work had been carried out. Some of the subcontractors have not been paid and the project, launched by President Jacob Zuma last October at Amahlathi municipality, has stalled in other areas.

During a visit to Machibi village near King William’s Town only one toilet structure had been erected. Some community members employed in January to dig holes for the structures moaned about non-payment.

51 COMMENTS

  1. I have said this before and I will say this again. The ANC elite are purposely enriching themselves and their families for generations to come so they can sit on their backsides in their mansions at the expense of their voters and country. They don’t care about pensioners, they don’t care about the Rhino, and they sure as hell don’t care about farmers. Get it into your frigging heads people! Government so quick to talk about distribution of wealth yet the same people over and over again are the ones that receive tenders. Take a look, the same faces keep appearing including crook No1. You people are sure as hell no Robin Hoods.

  2. Thieving seems to have become a way of life in the top ranks of the ANC — and Number One Tokolosh seems to have his finger in every pie.

  3. Hayi Suka this is hogwash! The DA has a case of proven tender corruption pending in court but most newspapers don’t show that. It’s far easier to plant seeds of doubt when it comes to black business. Why can’t we just allow people to do business? Unless someone can show a crime was committed here then this isnt a issue here

  4. I do not think the Dispatch could have bothered itself if the company that won the tender was a white owned company . Mantashe’s wife has all the rights to be employed by any company.What is important is service delivery .

  5. Even the most naive people should now see why the ruling party rallies behind the chief thief.They benefit from the large scale kleptocracy that is now the norm in this country.The so-called communists are having a field day looting, looting and looting.

  6. Follow my leader. What ever happened to the cadres who took the money and left the school children without food in the Eastern Cape. Same guys?Almost sure they will be generous donors to the ANC. Where are the HAWKS? Public Protector, a shame on all those that support this immoral and corrupt so called liberation party.

  7. The word is: Impunity.

    Time and again, they get caught out, and time and again, they shrug their shoulders and say, “Oops”, AND NOTHING FURTHER HAPPENS.

    Also, Gwede is a big fat liar trying to pretend his wife “works for” that company. If it’s her company, she’s not “working for” it. Huge difference between owning a company and working for Goldfields.

  8. So sad for this great country that yet again a chance to improve the lives of the needy is squandered by the greedy. Thank you DD for keeping us informed, but depressing reading.

  9. Nothing wrong with tenders going to BEE companies they must just deliver. We must remember that White construction companies rigged gov of R30Billion during the construction of the World Cup projects & not forgetin the R600Million Filcon scandal in the Western Cape were the DA leads

    • So are trying to say viva looting viva! And we must sit back and smile or go to the stadium and say down DA. Its not about race it’s about thieves when the poor and my tax is being looted please get the point

  10. self enrichment is the no 1 down fall in africa.i personally try to help the farming community with solar and make a small profit.i say making money and making a positive difference is fine.but to rob people.jail them

  11. Why am I not surprised. Saddest part, the people who finally get the toilets will continue to vote ANC because lets face it, their lives are then better.

    Nothing short of a miracle change in voter perception is going to change the course of this country and even if that miracle does happen. It will take another miracle to undo the damage and corruption which has now become accepted behavior.

    Proudly brought to you by the ANC.

  12. Typical of Gwede Mantashe, arrogant and dismissive. Pity they will probably be long dead and buried when this country explode. It is just a matter of time.

  13. Enough said. 3 simple solutions to fix SA’s endemic fraud and corruption problem. 1. To vote in any election, each eligible citizen must possess a voter’s license, obtainable following successful completion (with examination) of a course in political education, basic logic and duties of the state. 2. No tax certificate means no vote. 3. Formation of a new, non-partisan independent watchdog, SP TPM. Society for Protection of Tax Payers’ money!

  14. Dear Gwede, the difference is that Goldfields and PPC Cement are not funded by the taxpayers of SA. Government is now giving our hard earned tax money to a company owned by your family. How much more clarity do you need to see that this is wrong!

  15. That works out at R9560 per toilet.

    But the problem I see is not the family connections, it’s the statement:
    “The company has already been paid more than R60-million “for work already done” – but a visit to some of the sites this week revealed very little work had been done on the ground.”
    There should be around 6275 toilets completed.

  16. Nombasa Mantashe also got a tender worth millions and apparently quit her job to install toilets in the Eastern Cape. Is that the same tender? She is Gwede’s daughter too so I would not be shocked. ANC seniors have taught their kids to steal from the public too instead of working hard for success like other people. Tax is going up and tenders are manipulated into the hands of greedy ANC people. Nombasa went from Eskom where we hear she did nothing anyway, was never at work to being a millionaire Tenderpreneur installing toilets in weeks. That is South Africa for you.

    • You sound bitter Tomm. It’s a sickness all of you had at Eskom towards her just because of her surname. I know her personally, and your comment is so far from the truth. She is Johannesburg based, has a new born, when have you seen her in EC? And what millions does she have? The girl lives a regular life like all of us. Maybe find out the truth before posting such things about someone. Rumors are not facts.

      • Sizzling I am so happy someone addressed this person. I wanted to but held myself. I worked with Nombasa for 5 years and not once did she use her surname we had the same struggles at work and she was humble all the way. She is doing her MSc at the University of Pretoria now I doubt you get there by luck or connections and why study with millions in your bank? Your future is bright with millions you don’t need school. Very bright girl and well spoken. We all wanted to know her at Eskom but she was very to herself and some said she’s full of herself because of that until you know her. Tomm is one of those I see.

        • Ateam you sound like a groupie! No one here is questioning humility and where she went to school. Please do your research and see how many South Africans have multiple prestigious qualifications but still do not get afforded the opportunity to even have a decent job. Are you saying the fact that she goes to school means she is not involved in the tender scandal?

          If these are just rumors, then a little investigation can prove them wrong. It cannot be a coincidence that we hear she got a tender to install toilets then a few weeks later her family is exposed in a toilet tender scandal. If you will judge the integrity of people by how well spoken they are, i feel sorry for this country as you are most likely a voter! I have nothing against anyone, including Nombasa, I am a tax payer and any improper allocation of tax payer’s money will concern me and every South African. Can we have a process that was followed for her and her family being awarded this tender? Who else was given the opportunity to bid? Please come to this platform with answers not your ambitions to buy friendships then we can have an intelligent debate. And please speak to anyone at Eskom and ask what exactly she did there, you will hear… Nothing!

          • Tomm you sound more and more bitter by the day and you do have personal issues against Nombasa. You said ask anyone at Eskom, and I see other Eskomites are here to tell you, you are wrong, she did not do nothing. We worked with her closely, so we are not talking about rumors and hear says. I am not a fan of this government and their doings, I wish they would be dealt with, but when you launch a personal attack on someone because of rumors and their surname, I will also call you out. If you knew Nombasa personally, you would know everything you are saying about her is nonsense! Ask anyone who knows her well, not you fellow haters, about her, and you will know that you took hear says and formed this strong opinion of her for nothing and it’s wrong. You can never win in SA, you work hard and study hard to give yourself a good life and still people fault you. You should also come to the platform with facts not your goals to discredit someone. Her family is being investigated, and if this article is true, they must be dealt with, but it’s automatically link her to the saga without concrete facts!

          • Tomm o nale mathata get help for this anger towards her I’ll pay for your counselling!!! Not buying friendships we will never be friends le Nombasa but I’ve worked closely with her so I know her capabilities and I will say the truth when people like you lie about her. Other Eskomites are also here, I see two comments and they are telling you o maka she works for her money! The minute the Eastern Cape girls said her family is working on toilets two weeks ago you all decided she’s part of it and spread it like wild fire around Eskom and that’s what I mean when I say you are spreading rumors you are not sure about you are no better than the thugs you are writing about.

    • Tomm, in da future please verify ur “hear-say”/mgozi bfore u publish dam in public lyk dis. I’ve worked with Nombasa for more 5 yrs. I can confirm dat we were all extremely busy. Thrs no way u can work for Kusile n have nothing t do. Can also confirm dat she was da most highest qualified employee in da department….ur hear say statement is all wrong, an u r misleading us!

  17. ANotherCriminal=ANC

    These people are the biggest thieves this country has ever had.

    No amount of convincing will change my mind that the Zuma regime is worse than any previous govt in our history.

    The ANC are stealing from their own people and smile about it. Zuma is lost in space and with Mugable the poorest leader in Africa.

    Land distribution is onl for the upper cadres in the ANC. Their members on the ground will get nothing.

    See Zimbabwe for a good example. Barren land, starving people. Welcome to black mismanagement by corrupt politicians.

  18. If one does the maths, tat works out to a phenominal amount per toilet. I like a move by th e labour party in the uk to ban MPs from having any business interests or paid consultancies. If you are a politician, then that is your job. If you work at a job, you do not moonlight on the side. And you do not engage in nepotism in any way or form. Politicians should not be involved in tender allocation, that should be done by career bureaucrats.

  19. This Project was a very good initiative by our government, considering the diseases that affect our rural communities due to lack of sanitation, etc. the government is also shooting itself on the foot here due to incomplete delivery and a lack that of in some areas. In my area there a funny thing really happened, the section which is in the middle was never given those toilets and all other areas got them. the same thing happened with roads in 2013. This will result to a creation of unnecessary animosity among the people in the communities….

  20. Come on . . . a simple arithmetic means that each toilet is costing R9, 500 ! ! ! Where have you heard of such a thing. Is this the kind of rural development where things costs more that R250m to do?

  21. R9500 per toilet, that’s nice. Even if they actually do the job they’re supposed to do (which I highly doubt will happen) they can go and buy a toilet for R700 each. If they contract a plumber to do the work (since I doubt they have any plumbers in their employment) and pay the plumber R2000 per toilet (which is quite high but as I don’t know the going rates to have toilets installed I will go by this figure) it will only cost them R2700 per toilet. Okay the materials that go around the toilet shouldn’t cost more than R2000 as well and this probably includes delivery of that material. They’re looking at a nice profit of R4800 per toilet, or roughly 50%, in total this is R316 million.

    Obviously I’m in the wrong business as these guys know how to make money. And that’s if they’re even going to finish the job.

  22. Siyenza has contributed in the economy of this country by creating jobs for the unemployed people more especially in the rural areas. Siyenza has also employed unemployed graduates . Leave Siyenza alone and mind your P’s & Q’s

  23. After we got a so called freedom in SA in 1994 I doubted if ANC will run this country properly because starting from National government to a Local government people who occupied top positions majority of them didn’t have relevant qualifications to hold those positions excluding former President Nelson Mandela, President Thabo Mbeki and a hand full politicians. Our current politicians will never make positive changes in SA up until they allow academics to run this country (SA) because academics will rule this country like they’re managing a company. No company leaders/managers will allow their company to work in a loss because a loss will bankrupt it so members who participate in bringing it down are removed mercilessly. So people who are not educated enough where will they see a loss when they receive a budget of billions that they can’t count. It’s impossible. Let’s stick together as a nation and not allow people who are not educated to lead us. It’s simple education will stop all this nonsense which is taking our country down the drain.

    talk about corruption and not making plans to eradicate it, it’s really fruitless. Lets stickAnd people who are not educated how will they see the importance of investing in education when uneducated people can be stinking rich with our tax money.

  24. Thank you Daily Dispatch. FYI report won’t solve any problems- we need a Thuli Madonsela to ask these guys to bring back our money- I personally don’t mind people getting tenders but can they qualify at least? follow the process?it’s kiling our economy and messing up Black children to teach them to loot instead of going to school or working hard/ smart to make a living. Mr Mantashe cant just turn a blind eye when his wife is destroying the future of their son- is tht what he educated him for? loot money from tax payers/ do toilet job at such a tender age.Ms Zulu- being appointed as a Minister of Small Business Dev didn’t mean she should act irresponsible and deregister her son who recently turned 21 from school to live a fast life, loot money and move around in fastest cars at that age?????. the rest I can not say much- I expect better from Lonwabo- he doesn’t need the President’s surname to make money- he is a made man- educated too.The rest I can not say much they are old enough, they can steal all they want (if that’s their vision)…

    We made this bed….we voted

  25. Eish! This Gwede Mantashe who is always fighting for Zuma is also roptten like all Zuma Cabinet. South Africans there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. They are just killing us. Look at what is happening in our country. Zuma and his cabinet are stealing money from us and laugh at the end. Eiiii I so wish I could close my eyes, my ears sothat I don’t hear and see what Zuma and Gwede Mantashe are doing.

  26. There`s nothing with working hard for your money and being fortunate to be chosen because of your prove track record that one can deliver what is required,its a problem if things dont go the DA way?Nothing wrong with tenders going to BEE companies they must just deliver.Of which they are delivering one way or the other. We must remember that White construction companies rigged gov of R30Billion during the construction of the World Cup projects & not forgetin the R600Million Filcon scandal in the Western Cape were the DA leads? They were chosen because they can deliver PERIOD!!

  27. The problem is not that Black people are getting the tender, not even that ANC people are getting it, but the fact that they were approached and “given” the work instead a proper tender process taking place. Please respect the need for due process.

    A large portion of money used by our Government is borrowed from the financial market. The Government does not have money, it belongs to ALL SOUTH AFRICANS, black, white, rich, poor, tax paying and non-tax paying. The Government spend that money on OUR behalf and for OUR benefit.

    Stop defending a corrupt Government when you have the power to appoint, and fire a Government of your choice, of a color you choose. That is freedom.

  28. who said that family members of the South African leaders cannot be awarded tenders. do we always have to think about corruption when a family member of the ANC been awarded something by the government? where do they have to work. no one has ever complained about whites giving they children tenders, but when the ANC leader children got tender you all cry

    • Why keep copying the same comment all over the place. There is nothing wrong with ANC family members working for Government or anyone else. But they have to go through proper processes or they will be stealing from the rest of us. The internal democracy within the ANC is failing. In the past, leaders of the historically great organization that is the ANC would have held themselves to a higher standard.

      It is also incorrect to claim that every time an ANC linked person does business, they are accused of corruption. There are GREAT people linked to the ANC that make a lot of money but are considered honest. Think of Tito Mboweni, Maria Ramos and others.

  29. lets stop wid the color issue, ofcoz ANC is currupt n its must b followed, ANC is a dsgrace to the black community the beringing as bad name thats y young black find it so hard to get to jobs in private sector. thanks ANC ruining our future bunch of monkies ofcoz m black 2

  30. I dont have a problem with the tender and who got it. I have a problem with this price fixing. Its disgusting man. You will be surprised on how much they charge per toilet. They charge toilet price.

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